MARTIAN GHOST CENTAUR

A snarky romp—just don’t think too hard about the holey plot.

A scrappy teenager dedicates her summer to finding an elusive sasquatch.

The tiny town of Southborough, California, became a hot spot for paranormal-seeking tourists after Gregory Samuel O’Connor’s American Idol audition tape was video-bombed by a sasquatch. Eighteen years later, the tourism boom has nose-dived due to dwindling sightings of the sasquatch and internet-driven skepticism. Seventeen-year-old Louie O’Connor, daughter of the man who spotted the local cryptid, worries her dads will lose their restaurant. Like other Southborough businesses, Squatch Burger is threatened by a rich tech entrepreneur who wants to buy up the town for selfish purposes. Louie and her best friend, Felix, decide to turn things around by catching the sasquatch and returning Southborough to the map. But when a paranormal investigator famous for debunking cryptid stories shows up, everything changes. Can Louie find her passion and save the day? Reminiscent of a campy ’80s film, the eye-catching, full-color artwork highlights kooky schemes and extremely expressive characters. While the visual design is stunning, weak character development muddles a thematically overburdened story. The impetus for many plot points and humorous gags turns out to be Louie’s air of entitlement and general brattiness. An unbelievable change of heart leads to a tidy conclusion. Louie and her dads read as White; Felix is cued as Latinx, and residents of the town are ethnically diverse.

A snarky romp—just don’t think too hard about the holey plot. (Graphic fiction. 12-18)

Pub Date: March 9, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-62010-849-9

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Oni Press

Review Posted Online: Dec. 21, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2021

THE ODYSSEY

Hinds adds another magnificent adaptation to his oeuvre (King Lear, 2009, etc.) with this stunning graphic retelling of Homer’s epic. Following Odysseus’s journey to return home to his beloved wife, Penelope, readers are transported into a world that easily combines the realistic and the fantastic. Gods mingle with the mortals, and not heeding their warnings could lead to quick danger; being mere men, Odysseus and his crew often make hasty errors in judgment and must face challenging consequences. Lush watercolors move with fluid lines throughout this reimagining. The artist’s use of color is especially striking: His battle scenes are ample, bloodily scarlet affairs, and Polyphemus’s cave is a stifling orange; he depicts the underworld as a colorless, mirthless void, domestic spaces in warm tans, the all-encircling sea in a light Mediterranean blue and some of the far-away islands in almost tangibly growing greens. Don’t confuse this hefty, respectful adaptation with some of the other recent ones; this one holds nothing back and is proudly, grittily realistic rather than cheerfully cartoonish. Big, bold, beautiful. (notes) (Graphic classic. YA)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2010

ISBN: 978-0-7636-4266-2

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: Sept. 15, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2010

LAURA DEAN KEEPS BREAKING UP WITH ME

A triumphant queer coming-of-age story that will make your heart ache and soar.

A 17-year-old struggles to navigate friendship and finding herself while navigating a toxic relationship.

Biracial (East Asian and white) high schooler Freddy is in love with white Laura Dean. She can’t help it—Laura oozes cool. But while Freddy’s friends are always supportive of her, they can’t understand why she stays with Laura. Laura cheats on Freddy, gaslights and emotionally manipulates her, and fetishizes her. After Laura breaks up with her for a third time, Freddy writes to an advice columnist and, at the recommendation of her best friend Doodle, (reluctantly) sees a psychic who advises her that in order to break out of the cycle of her “non-monogamous swing-your-partner wormhole,” Freddy needs to do the breaking up herself. As she struggles to fall out of love and figure out how to “break up with someone who’s broken up with me,” Freddy slowly begins to be drawn back into Laura’s orbit, challenging her relationships with her friends as she searches for happiness. Tamaki (Supergirl, 2018, etc.) explores the nuances of both romantic and platonic relationships with raw tenderness and honesty. Valero-O’Connell’s (Lumberjanes: Bonus Tracks, 2018, etc.) art is realistic and expressive, bringing the characters to life through dynamic grayscale illustrations featuring highlights of millennial pink. Freddy and her friends live in Berkeley, California, and have a diversity of body shapes, gender expressions, sexualities, and skin tones.

A triumphant queer coming-of-age story that will make your heart ache and soar. (Graphic novel. 14-adult)

Pub Date: May 7, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-62672-259-0

Page Count: 304

Publisher: First Second

Review Posted Online: March 6, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2019

Close Quickview